To that little girl who felt confused about life. You did your best to be the best as a kid growing up in what I consider a dysfunctional family. It’s not your fault that you were shown bad representations of what “loving a child” is supposedly like. When you grow up, your going to become a teen mom, and you will begin parenting the way you were parented, but only for a short time. You will eventually see that somethings have to change. You will love yourself and love your children in every way that wasn’t exemplified to you growing up.
Me, small and confused about life
You will be the parent you wish you had as a child. You’ll attend every school event, sporting event, assembly, open house, counseling session, doctors appointment. You’re going to actually be there both physically and emotionally for your children.
My orphan photo from Holt Agency
The ways that you were raised and the things that you were exposed to such as alcoholism, extreme verbal abuse, acts of violence, and feelings of being unwanted, these ALL will not be carried over into the next generation. You’ll break that generational curse at the root!
You’re stronger than you look. You’re strength is bigger than your small size. You’re worth something to someone who you will meet later in life. You may have had everything material wise, but you lacked the significance of having parents. They were never there in ways of support that you needed. You just had two people who chose to adopt you for reasons that you won’t be able to understand at such a young age, only because your constantly being told that, “we should have never adopted you”, “you’re a mistake”, “you should have never been born!”
Me faking my smile
Oh and as you get older, it gets even worse, you’ll begin to be see the racist side of your dad, because you’ll suddenly become a “N-gger lover”, “whore”, “slut” simply because you choose to date someone who is black and the majority of your friends will be of that same race. You’ll be confused for a bit, because it was always okay to play with your black friends as a smaller child, but it wasn’t until your middle school years and beyond that it will become a huge problem. Your dad will present himself as if he’s not racist, yet he’ll talk about his “one black friend” to reference that he has one. That says it all right there.
The happy times of me and my childhood friend, Viola breakdancing on cardboard
You will overcome. You will stand up for your own beliefs. You’ll grow strength from the pain they’ve inflicted upon you. You’re smarter and wiser than your age. You see no difference in your selection of relationships merely because of the racial background. You only see exactly what each individual proves themselves to be. You will eventually despise your parents. You will become empowered by your own ambitions and you will begin advocating for yourself at a young age. You will speak against stigma, labels and fight for what you believe in! You will gain so much knowledge on your own. You will move out at a young age to escape the dysfunctional surroundings that these two people considered a “loving home”. If a “loving home” contains calling your adoptive child a “B—-ch” and so many other hurtful words, demeaning their worth, making them feel confused about their existence, never receiving any apology, not being hugged or told that their loved, yet being showered with gifts and money, this is what a “loving home” is NOT!
High school. This was one lost teenager filled with rage, pain, hidden behind a smile. (me)
Oh and let me NOT dare to forget that famous phrase your mom is going to always say, “what goes on in this house, stays in this house!” Let me elaborate for you, this means, when that social worker comes to ask you questions, you better not say anything about your dad’s alcholism, and all those fights, verbal abuse, violence, or any other truthful thing that actually occurs while under our roof. It means when friends and family come over to visit, you don’t say anything about anything. It means you pretend to be someone your not. It’s gonna feel like the freaking “Brady Bunch show” where everyone is “honkey dorry” and free spirited to do anything with light punishment for mistakes.
The Brady bunch and what we were NOT!
When in reality, it’s more like the “Mommie Dearest movie” with lots of the “wire hangers” moments!
The wire hanger scene from mommie dearest
Pictures don’t show the truth, they just show the mask you wear. They just show a smile that isn’t genuine or real. They just show what your parents wanted everyone to believe, that you were a happy and loved child. You’ll begin to realize that your parents need therapy, and to face their own past. You’ll take into account their past, and reasons for why your dad turns to alcohol to numb his pain from the loss of his mom to suicide when he was 12. You’ll realize that your mom just might have some sort of mental health issue that she has gone untreated for years and she too needs therapy for the loss of her natural born son. Yet these reasons are impactful and significant but they don’t excuse the years of abuse and unfair treatment you was subjected to. You’ll continue to roll with the punches, and fight against their grooming attempts. You stand out, because your stronger than they think, and it’s because you don’t go with their plan that you become their enemy.
That little girl who didn’t have a voice (Me)
But you know what kid! You’re actually one in a million, your gonna come through all this better than most others you’ll find around you with very similar situations, minus them being adopted.
You’ll actually find the Lord and salvation as you get into your early 20s, and you’ll overcome the trauma of your upbringing. You’ll discover new meaning for living. You’ll discover your purpose around 43. You’ll become a voice for others. You’ll let others know that being broken is exactly what God is an expert in, fixing broken people. Now it’s gonna take a lot of work, self care, self examination, talk-therapy, prayer, meditation, commitment, dedication and finally true love that you will find in your faith and from your future spouse but YOU will discover that YOU DO MATTER AND YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE VALUED AND YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You will learn along the ways of being a young teen mom, your journey with motherhood will be a learning experience and you will make some mistakes along the way. You will begin off by parenting the ways you were parented and it is in this time that you’ll realize you have become just like that parent you grew to despise and said you’d never be like. Then the light will come on for you, and you will eventually go from bitter to better. You will go through stages of guilt and depression for being a horrible mom in the beginning, but don’t give up on yourself because you won’t stay that way. You’ll wind up being a much better person, mom, friend, caregiver, advocate and counselor to many. You’ll be able to share your story with others one day!
You’ll overcome so much adversity from being in a interracial relationship. Negative remarks will stem from both sides of the fence. Black females will hate you, while Korean males will hate him. Racial slurs will come to try and tear the love apart, but you two will withstand the test of time during that era. You two will grow stronger together and with Jesus added to the mix, it only keeps getting better!
Me and my husband in 1998 after having our 2nd child.
Little girl, You may not be able to find anything positive from the outcome of all the hurt, anger and pain your in, but please be patient with the process and continue to write in your diaries and keep doing what it takes for yourself to overcome. When you get to about age 30 is when you’ll truly look back at all your life has dealt you and you will begin to appreciate everything, even the bad stuff, because God’s gonna turn it around for your good. And for every negative put down your dad will ever say to you, your gonna prove him wrong, but most importantly your gonna prove yourself right! That you can achieve those things you were told you would never do. Why? Because you chose to believe in yourself and not in the words that were thrown at you. You WILL graduate on time. You WILL hold down a job. You WILL get an even better job. Your “N-gger” boyfriend that knocks you up WILL become your husband and he WILL stay with you. While years later your dad will cheat on your mom and ruin their own marriage. You WILL raise four beautiful children. You WILL own homes at a young age. You WILL be a better parent than your parents were and are. You will distance yourself from family members like this, because you will have to make a tough choice, that you no longer want part of a dysfunctional past. You will choose to move forward without taking that part of your past with you. You WILL survive. You WILL make it! You WILL achieve great things. You WILL love and be loved. You will not become the alcoholic parent your father was and is. You will not become a chain smoker like both parents were. You will not raise your children to stigmatise others. You will teach them to be kind to EVERY person. You will exemplify love and discipline in different ways as you learn to parent them.
Interestingly enough your parents lives will wind up not going so good as you all grow older. Call it, reap what they sow? Maybe. Or you can consider it many other things. You will be able to forgive them, but the most challenging and difficult part of your life will be the bad memories and not being able to forget. But let’s go back to that saying, “What goes on in this house, stays in this house!” So in other words, what went on in that house as a kid, growing up on 20th Ave SW, will remain there. You’ll no longer bring that into your home or allow it to interfere with your life.
My parents and me in 1975
You’re going to be proud of the much older you. You will become a wife to your high school sweetheart that your dad despised and stigmatized. And you will bear four children with him and you will raise them with Christian values, biblical principles as well as street knowledge and equip them for this somewhat cruel world. Teaching them to be humble and honest in everything they do. If they fall, get back up! Telling them, “NEVER ever let anyone tell you, what you can’t do”, including yourself. And as your husband will tell them, “your best is good enough!”. You will also tell them, “never measure your growth or skills to that of someone else, but measure yourself to where you began”. And “its not always about how you start but it’s about how you finish”.
Nothing but genuine smiles here. My youngest son and the love of my life.
Anyways, to the readers:
This is what I would’ve wanted that little girl to know! I wished someone would have told that little Korean girl that she is going to pull through. And in spite of her own mistakes, she will overcome many obstacles. And this chapter of her life was merely strength training for what was to lie ahead. And her journey will continue with many tests, trials and she will have to endure more hardship as a mom herself, but God will be her consistency.
Thanks for being here and listening to a different chapter of my journey. If you happen to be that same little girl or little boy that I speak of here, stand strong, speak out, break the silence, seek help early and take care of yourself! No one deserves to be unloved or made to feel worthless. Allow yourself time to heal, and be patient with the process. Discover the new you that is soon to become.